Thursday, 23 February 2012

Rains a Comin

We suffer from a rain shadow over our land, even though we are nowhere near mountains. For some strange reason it can be raining all around us and yet nothing will fall on our land. We are lucky that we have irrigation and can pump from the river. We have a series of vegetable plots (120 of them) that we irrigate with water pumped up from the Kafue River by way of a canal. We have a pump station on the canal that pumps water to a quarry and then from there we again pump out onto our vegetable plots. If it was not for the irrigation, our vegetables would have perished long ago. Our maize still relies on rainfall as the irrigation is only enough for the garden. 

We have been watching the level of the river rise in the last few weeks. Rain falls further North towards the Congo border and feeds tributaries into the Kafue river and we see the affects here on the Chiansi lagoon. The flow was stopped for a while at Lake Iteshi-Teshi dam while work was carried out on the turbines. Stopping the water at the am had huge consequences for us as the water in the canal literally dried up. Our vegetables suffered.    However now the river is rising the canal rises too and we can pump water to our vegetables when the weather is dry.

                            Low level of water at the quarry in October, pump inlets clear of water level

  Chiansi lagoon, water level very low, normally up to where the chickens are.   

                                   Each day we watched the canal water level drop more and more

                                         Pump inlets on the canal also became clear of the water       

                                                   Same pump inlets now, river is rising fast!!

                                 Canal with same boats, moored much higher as level rises each day!

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Markets Wanted for Our Vegetables

Since we started utilising our irrigation infrastructure in June last year (2011) we have had great success in producing a variety of high quality vegetables including, rape, okra, tomatoes, egg plant, green beans, cabbage, pumpkin, potatoes and many more. We are close to Lusaka only 47kms on a good dirt road and close to the huge and beautiful Chainsi lagoon on the Kafue River. Members of our community also sell fresh fish harvested from the Chiansi lagoon, so why not combine a great day out and come to Chanyanya to buy fresh produce, both fish and vegetables from out garden and enjoy the views across the Kafue floodplains and the vast expanse of the Chiansi lagoon. Our garden is going strong and we look forward to welcoming you to our community!  

                                                                 Okra Harvesting

                                            Cooperative Member attending rape crop

                                                                Quality Rape
                                                           On the Chiansi Lagoon